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Have I broken the law and how do I fix it? Immigration issues with nanny,

(10 Posts)
Aaaarggggh Sun 20-Sep-09 18:55:26

For the last couple of years I have employed a nanny from Poland. She's about to leave and is looking for a new job but has asked me to give her a letter for the Home Office for the "resident workers' scheme".

I have just been on the HO website and it says that she had to register within a month of starting work in the UK and that employers can be liable if they don't check employees have done what they should have.

When I employed her she had had a bunch of jobs in the UK before and had an NI number. I also saw her passport so I knew she was from Poland and of course they are in the EEA. I didn't check if there was any further layer of admin, but it now looks like maybe I have broken the law.

What should I do? I can't afford to get slapped by the Home Office!

risingstar Sun 20-Sep-09 21:45:06

are you sure? i thought that it was only bulgarian and romanian that needed to do anything? all other eea can work without you needing to do anything more than make sure that they are an eea citizen? which you have done by checking passport??...........therefore they have the right to work and you have not employed an illegal immigrant.

to put your mind at rest, you could always call them and say you are thinking of employing a polish nanny, she has an ni number, is there anything else you need to do?

Aaaarggggh Sun 20-Sep-09 22:19:44

Well not 100% sure but the more I read the more I seem to have cocked up badly.

It seems that checking a passport and NI number isn't enough and that with Poles (and a bunch of other nationalities) you also have to check they have registered.

So I will be getting some advice from a lawyer asap.

Anyone else come across this/got any idea of what I should do?

expatinscotland Sun 20-Sep-09 22:24:04

i thought it was only romanians and bulgarians that had to register for resident workers' schemes.

she's EU, not just EEA.

Aaaarggggh Sun 20-Sep-09 22:28:37

So did I, but now it is starting to look otherwise.

God, I am horrified. I hired a Pole (who had worked in the UK previously) because I thought they were legal by virtue of their passports...

MadBadandCoveredinSequins Mon 21-Sep-09 12:17:47

Worker Registration Scheme

UKBA Guidance aimed at employers

It's true of course that Poland is in the EU but the government imposed some interim measures - like the worker registration scheme - when they and the other states joined, so in that sense there's a difference between EU citizens from 'new' member states and those from 'old' member states like France or Germany. Having an NI number is in no way proof that a person is free to work in the UK.

The UKBA website talks about working with and supporting employers, so I imagine that they have bigger fish to fry than someone who has been employing one person in their home, but you're right to seek legal advice. ILPA should be able to put you in touch with a reputable immigration adviser.

Aaaarggggh Mon 21-Sep-09 17:55:05

Well, I just thought I would come and update since this thread might help someone else.

I spoke to the immigration people who confirmed that our nanny has indeed been working illegally. Ignorance is no defence but it is apparently unlikely that anyone will be beating down my door, there being thousands of people in the same boat and me being a generally law-abiding type. The only thing we can now do is to get her registered ASAP in order to limit the breach.

And of course I will know to be much more thorough next time.

MadBadandCoveredinSequins Mon 21-Sep-09 18:05:27

Well, that sounds pretty good for you!

Aaaarggggh Mon 21-Sep-09 18:31:00

Hopefully it will be fine. I mean, there are no guarantees but the choice is either rectify the situation sharpish (thus demonstrating my good intentions) or pretend I didn't know anything at any time, which would be silly and dishonest and I have always tried to do everything above board...

There must be so many employers in exactly my shoes you would think the immigration people would try to publicise the system a bit more, too.

MadBadandCoveredinSequins Mon 21-Sep-09 23:04:40

Have you taking legal advice? A solicitor may be able to suggest the best way to present this.

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